JAMA Logo A dietary pattern which calls for a daily intake of fish seems to be extremely important in the medical section. A recent study associated regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish with a remarkably decreased threat of age-related macular degeneration in women. It was mentioned that dietary omega-3 fatty acids may play a vital role in maintaining eye health among women.

As a part of the investigation, scientists conducted the Women’s Health Study for analyzing data on 38,022 women who were not suffering from age-related macular degeneration. In the beginning of the study itself participants were made to fill in a questionnaire that gathered information on women’s eating habits and intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) [Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish]. Also consumption of arachidonic acid and linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acids) was examined.

Investigators add, “An estimated nine million U.S. adults aged 40 years and older show signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). An additional 7.3 million persons have early age-related macular degeneration, which is usually associated with moderate or no vision loss but does increase the risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration.”

After ten years of follow-up, William G. Christen, Sc.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues inspected additional questionnaires on women’s eye health, with specific focus on diagnosis of age-related macular degeneration. In the course of follow-up, 235 women were diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. The study findings were asserted on adjusting age and treatment assignment. Women who consumed the most DHA than those eating the lowest amount allegedly had a 38 percent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

The results higher intake of EPA and higher consumption of both types of acid together also appeared similar. One or more servings of fish per week as compared to less than one per month were possibly linked with a 42 percent reduced threat of age-related macular degeneration. This decline in risk was particularly registered among women who consumed canned tuna fish and dark-meat fish. Authors mentioned that for omega-6 fatty acids, higher intake of linoleic acid but not arachidonic acid was not connected with heightened chances of age-related macular degeneration.

The study is published online and will appear in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.